Electric Space: A New Narrative for Aging Hydroelectric Facilities in B.C.
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This thesis addresses the hydroelectric structures of the Buntzen Generating Station located within a restricted area of Indian Arm Provincial Park in British Colombia, Canada. Situated between ocean and mountain, the century-old power-generating stations of Buntzen Lake are nearing end of service. Over time, these isolated, dangerous, and increasingly obsolete machines in the landscape have been superseded by alternatives from a new energy era and out-muscled by Vancouver’s relentless thirst for fresh water. As relics of the past, this is an opportunity to reimagine British Columbia’s relationship with aging, purpose-built hydroelectric structures and engage the experiential, atmospheric, and imaginative capacity of this forbidden site. In addition to power generation, this thesis defends that antiquated hydroelectric structures could be used as devices of imagination, sensation and memory to decipher a landscape’s invisible energy and reconnect us to nature, history, land and water in powerful and unpredictable ways.